CategorySexual Ethics

Shifting paradigms on sexuality. Why we don’t hear or understand each other


One of the things I’m noticing about the same-sex debate within the church is that there is a stark difference between my parents generation and that of my children. It’s not uncommon for people in my parents and my grandparents generations to struggle with the idea that same-sex partnerships are a legitimate expression of sexuality; yet to many of my children’s generation...

Would same-sex marriage create another stolen generation? Lyle Shelton, the ACL and the Same-Sex Marriage Debate


The Australian Christian Lobby, as expected, is campaigning hard against the legalisation of same-sex marriage. On Q & A this week, Lyle Shelton, ACL Managing Director, argued that recognising same-sex marriage would result in another stolen generation. It’s strong language, so what should we make of it? First, I think it gives us pause to reflect. The advent of surrogacy represents a...

Baking cakes for same-sex weddings. Do I have a right to be a bigot?


What is it about cakes? John Hewson’s election campaign foundered when he couldn’t identify in simple terms how much GST would be payable on a cake. And now the debate around freedom of conscience in the event same-sex marriage is legalised is centering around the proverbial cake maker. Many fear that should same-sex marriage be legalised their freedom to practise and proclaim a...

What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Five critical questions


In the past couple of months I have found myself involved in many discussions around a biblical approach to same-sex relationships. Not only is our Parliament to debate same-sex marriage, but some prominent Christian leaders, including Steve Chalke, Tony Campolo, and ethicist David Gushee have called for the church to change its mind on homosexuality. At the moment those calling for a change are...

Same sex marriage and the failure of evangelical ethics


I was out for dinner this week when someone wondered whether in 20 years time gay couples will be welcomed and affirmed in our churches and whether we will be as embarrassed by our present opposition to gay relationships as we are that Christians once argued in support of slavery, racial segregation, and female subordination? If history is anything to go by, rightly or wrongly, I think the answer...

A 17th Century Baptist Speaks To Us About Marriage Equality


Opposition leader Bill Shorten has announced he will introduce a private members bill legislating for marriage equality.  As we consider this I think we have something to learn from the 17th century Baptist leader Thomas Helwys, who issued the first call for religious freedom written in the English language. “For we do freely profess that our lord the king has no more power over their consciences...

If pornography is so bad,
why does the Bible give us the Song of Songs?


Christianity has a reputation for being prudish about sexual desire. Yet the Old Testament contains an extended erotic love poem in which two lovers anticipate their lovemaking. From the outset it is dripping with sexual desire: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth–for your love is more delightful than wine… Take me away with you – let us hurry! Let the King bring me into his...

Why Churches Should Be a Safe Place for LGBT Oriented People to Come Out


Young people who are same-sex attracted (SSA) experience victimisation, harassment and abuse because of their sexual identity. Those who are open about their sexuality frequently experience abuse and rejection by family and friends. Consequently they do not feel safe about ‘coming-out’ and instead prefer to keep their feelings hidden. This silence can lead to self-harming behaviours including...

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